TV is dead! Long live TV!

November 5th, 2016

Maybe it’s time to celebrate the death of the old so we can herald the birth of the new.

I was at a friend’s home for dinner last night and afterwards, he and I were engaged in some lively conversation. His tweenage daughter was in the ajoining room, and I was aware that she was being (what I considered to be) uncharacteristically considerate for someone her age, because even though their TV is a big, wall-mounted model, it was not at a volume that was in anyway disturbing our conversation.

It was only when she got up to go to bed that I realized she had been watching (or texting or playing or Skyping) on her iPod Touch, completely uninterested in the monolithic, unidirectional flat-screen device in front of her. Which made me think that maybe McLuhan’s celebrated statement should be updated to, “the medium is the messaging.” Because it seems that today’s youth, and hence tomorrow’s adults, are only vaguely interested in media that doesn’t offer a genuine opportunity for bilateral input. It’s what they gravitate to naturally and without prompting, and therefore it is, without further intervention, the future of media.

So rather than debating the future of media such as TV and print that only have relevance to those of us who grew up without devices that talked back to us, perhaps we should shed cast off those yolk of bondage and move on, creating a today and tomorrow that makes sense to what we have currently, plainly and painfully obviously in front of us, instead of trying to drag with us that which lies slain before us.

TV is dead! Long live TV!

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